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Empowering Rural Women through the Management of Local Food and Maritime Produce to Overcome Malnutrition and Stunting in a Seacoast Community of Kupang District, Indonesia

09 Nov 2022

Empowering Rural Women through the Management of Local Food and Maritime Produce to Overcome Malnutrition and Stunting in a Seacoast Community of Kupang District, Indonesia

Project leader: Prisca Deviani Pakan

Level of education and university: Master, University of New England

Collaborating Organisations: Tablolong Village Local Government, Kupang District

Project Location: Desa Tablolong, Kecamatan Kupang Barat, Kabupaten Kupang, Nusa Tenggara Timur

Activity Type: Capacity building, mentoring or coaching

Sector: Health Management, Health Services, Maternal and Child Health, Public Health, Education and Training, Human Resource Development

Project Rationale:

East Nusa Tenggara Province is in the top three locations with the highest stunting rate in Indonesia. Data from the 2021 nutritional status survey conducted by the Indonesian Ministry of Health shows that Kupang District has a prevalence of malnutrition and stunting above the national average, which means that this problem has occurred chronically. Tablolong Village itself is known to have 20 children with poor nutritional status and three with stunting. The current malnutrition and stunting management program consists of implementing specific and sensitive nutritional interventions that are still not integrated, from planning to evaluation. This has occured due to the limited capacity of program organisers and the availability, quality, and utilisation of data to develop policies. The Large-Scale Social Restriction (PSBB) policy that has been implemented over the past two years has also caused a decrease in household incomes, impacting the ability to provide nutritious food to children.

The handling of malnutrition and stunting in rural areas must be more comprehensive, considering that in Indonesian socio-culture, mothers have a significant role in parenting children, from providing food and clothing to education. Ultimately, the mother's parenting pattern will shape the children's intelligence, character, and life abilities. These children are the next generation of our nation. This project proposes action to optimise resources and capabilities in a tiered manner, starting from the household to improve the nutritional status of children. An approach with long-term implications is needed, which can change the mindset in the family about the importance of nutritional status and its influence on children's growth and development. Therefore, the residents of Tablolong Village do not only hope for specific nutritional interventions the government provides but can also strive and optimise their abilities and resources, such as Moringa oleifera and seaweed. In my observation, after over three decades of living in Kupang, Moringa oleifera is used as a vegetable but is not yet processed into other foods. In addition, Moringa oleifera is not eaten by children and is only consumed by the elderly. The same is the case with seaweed, a superior commodity that is sold, but has not been used in daily consumption.

The project will help moringa and seaweed to become foods with high nutritional value, which can be done continuously. This project is critical because it can provide skills and knowledge, especially to the Tablolong Village Women's Group. After all, living in the rural area limits their access to crucial information and any nutritional intervention or assistance. Thus, these rural women are empowered to become the leaders in their households, ensuring the availability of food with high nutritional value that is affordable and easy to access, in order to overcome malnutrition and stunting in Tablolong Village. Ultimately, the project will help reduce the number of malnourished children and stunted children in Tablolong Village from 20 and three, respectively.

Project Beneficiaries:

  • A total of 311 families in the local Tablolong Village community.
  • 150 rural women in Tablolong village.
  • 23 children given the intervention of moringa noodles and seaweed nuggets to improve nutritional status.

Priority Development Area:

Health Security

Link with Australian organisation:

Not available

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